Born: July 11, 1971 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Posi-Tone Records recording artist Travis Sullivan has earned a worldwide reputation as an alto saxophonist, pianist, composer, and arranger. Embedded in the New York music scene for the past 15 years, he has been hailed by Jazz Times as being “…a gifted alto saxophonist and improviser who has also developed a strong and commanding voice as a composer.”
Sullivan’s most recent CD was released in 2011: New Directions, his third album as a leader and his debut on Posi-Tone Records. New Directions presents eight of his original modern jazz compositions, as well as Rodgers & Hart’s “Spring is Here,” and his arrangement of the Tears for Fears classic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” The new album also features his newly formed group The Travis Sullivan Quartet, which will be performing nationally and throughout Europe later this year.
New Directions is his first small ensemble release in over a decade. In 1999 Sullivan’s self-release Travis Sullivan’s Project One: As We Speak featured a quartet that included guitarist Rez Abbasi and drummer Ari Honig. In 2002, his breakthrough came in the form of Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, an 18-piece big band performing his arrangements of the renowned music of Icelandic pop goddess Bjork, and in 2008 he released Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra: Enjoy! on Koch Records. Sullivan formed his new quartet in early 2010, with himself on alto saxophone, Mike Eckroth on piano, Marco Panascia on bass, and Brian Fishler on drums. “It’s exciting to be returning to a quartet setting,” says Sullivan, “and I’m looking forward to further developing my creative voice as both a composer and improviser in this context.”
Sullivan can be heard performing regularly in the U.S. at venues such as The Blue Note, Iridium, The Jazz Standard, Joe’s Pub, and the SF Jazz Festival. He has also appeared internationally at The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Jarasum Jazz Festival (South Korea), and as a conductor for the Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (Germany), the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra (Italy), and the Reykjavik Big Band (Iceland).
Jamia's Dance, Autumn in NH, Tuneology, Hidden Agenda, Spring is Here, Georgie, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Leap of Faith, Magic Monday, New Directions
Personnel: Travis Sullivan, alto saxophone; Mike Eckroth, piano; Marco Panascia, bass; Brian Fishler, drums
Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra: Enjoy!
Hyperballad, Alarm Call, Human Behavior, Show Me Forgiveness, Army of Me, Hunter, Who Is It, Cocoon, Enjoy, Overture to "Dancer in the Dark."
Personnel: Travis Sullivan, alto saxophone & arrangements; Becca Stevens, vocals; Alex Fortuit, laptop programming; Joe Abbatantuono, drums; Brian Fishler, drums; Yoshi Waki, bass; Art Hirahara, piano; Sean Nowell, tenor saxophone; Steve Welsh, tenor saxophone; Lauren Sevian, baritone saxophone; Alan Ferber, trombone; Ryan Keberle, trombone; Andrew Gold, trombone; Kevin Schmidt, trombone; Kevin Bryan, trumpet; Colin Brigstocke, trumpet; Kelly Pratt, trumpet; Alicia Rau, trumpet
As We Speak
As We Speak, Ding-Dong!, No Consequence, Spanky's Magic Waltz, The Spazz, End Game, Theme for Shannon, Lost for Words, Newcastle Song/Mikie's Dilemma, The Spazz (reprise)
Personnel: travis Sullivan, alto saxophone & compositions; Rez Abbasi, guitar; Catherine Popper, bass; Ari Hoenig, drums
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.